Cpl. Tevan L. Nguyen

Cpl. Tevan L. Nguyen, 21, of Hutto, Texas, died Dec. 28, while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.  He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.


The city of Hutto is mourning the loss of one its own. Marine Cpl. Tevan L. Nguyen, 21, was killed in combat in the Helmand province of Afghanistan Tuesday. Cpl. Nguyen’s family said the proud Marine would want people to know he died doing what he loved. To his family, Nguyen was known as the comedian. "When he saw you depressed, upset, he was a clown," Nguyen’s aunt, Stella Lopez, said. "He would come pull your hair, push you, step on you, anything that he knew, that was going to make you smile." But Lopez said he was a focused young man and always made good decisions in life. Before he graduated high school in 2005, he signed a contract to join the Marines. His cousin said it was a career choice he made after admiring an uncle that served in the military. Hutto native leaves behind loving legacy "That was his dream," Nguyen’s former babysitter Mona Rivera said. "That was what he wanted to do regardless of where he was going or what he was facing." According to military reports, the 21-year-old combat-ready Marine was facing an enemy combatant stronghold the Taliban seems unwilling to give up in Afghanistan. He was killed in a territory with some of the fiercest fighting in the Operation Enduring Freedom mission. "I wish I could hang out with him one more time," close friend William Watts said. Watts said “Brother Nguyen” was an overachiever. "To prove to himself that he could overcome anything, he wanted to be in the Marines," Watts said. "He was always one kid that wanted to be one step higher to making himself better, but he didn't need to." Medals on display in the home of Nguyen’s parents show his ambition. He lettered in track, and was a defensive starter on the 2005 Hutto football team that played in the state championship that year. But his cousin said his greatest accomplishment was his 4-month-old son. "Despite him being killed, he is still here, (and) the love for him will never go away," he said. The family plans to bury the fallen Marine next to his grandmother in Brownwood, Texas.

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Marine Saluting Courtesy Sgt Michal S. Williams

He lives alone In the hills and the trees
He bares his soul To the cool mountain breeze
He talks to the Spirit He listens to the Wind
They shield him from memories Buried deep within
The world has forgotten The sacrifice he made
The scars he bears remind him Of the high price he paid
Freedom is not given But with blood it has been bought
By warriors such as he And by the wars they fought
We can't forget our warriors Or let them die in vain
But with respect and honor We can help to ease their pain
Our Freedom will be taken If no one will defend
God bless our Forgotten Warriors Who live to fight again.

God and the soldier all men adore
in times of trouble, but no more.
For when war is ended and all things righted,
God is neglected, the old soldier slighted.